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Pentathlon Olympians were trained in Brentwood
7:30am Sunday 19th August 2012 in Local news
MODERN Pentathlon international athletes were making waves from July 16 to August 12 at Brentwood School and Brentwood School Sports Centre as they trained to compete at London 2012.
Athletes from all over the world used the Brentwood facilities to get their Olympic campaigns off to a flying start.
Visiting teams included Australia, Austria, Belarus, Canada, Chile, China, Czechoslovakia, Egypt, Germany, Guatemala, Hungary, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Mexico, Poland, Russia, USA and flying the flag for their homeland, Britain.
Celebrating 100 years at the Games, Modern Pentathlon disciplines include épée fencing, freestyle swimming and combined cross country running and pistol shooting, were all catered for at Brentwood School Sports Centre - one of the official nationwide training venues for the London 2012 Games.
The training venue for show jumping was held at the competition venue in Greenwich Park.
The men’s Modern Pentathlon competition took place on Saturday 11th and the women’s competition was held on Sunday 12th August. Both started with fencing in the Copper Box followed by a 200m swim in the Aquatics Centre.
The athletes then left the Olympic Park for Greenwich Park, where they completed a show jumping course.
The day concluded with the combined event, in which competitors completed a 3km run, including stop-offs at shooting points where they had to hit five targets.
Modern laser guns replaced pistols for the first time in the shooting component of the sport, both in training and the competition. The other recent innovation is the combined shoot-and-run finale to the event, where the first to cross the finish line takes the gold medal.
Team GB hit the target during their Olympic preparations at Brentwood School and hopes were high that a Modern Pentathlon medal could be added to the team’s burgeoning medal success.
Those hopes were realised when 22-year-old Samantha Murray secured Team GB’s 65th medal of the Games, winning Silver in the women’s competition. However, it was Lithuania’s Laura Asadauskaite who finished some way ahead of Murray winning Gold.
Also showing a pool of talent was David Svoboda of the Czech Republic who secured the Gold in the men’s competition, with Zhongrong Cao from China taking the Silver.
Brentwood School was chosen as a host training venue after an extensive review of all potential venues by the London Organising Committee because of the world-class standard of sporting facilities already available on site and the ease of access from the Athletes’ Village in Stratford.
The School offers extensive high-quality amenities including an on-site Sports Centre, featuring a 25-metre indoor swimming pool, a purpose-built Fencing Salle, a fitness suite that provides state-of-the-art computerised equipment and a number of sports halls.
There are also extensive playing fields, Astroturf facilities and a new running track.
Brentwood School was one of only three Independent Schools in the entire country to have been selected as an official London 2012 Games venue.
Paul Morgan, Brentwood School Sports Centre manager, commented, “This was a fantastic opportunity for Brentwood to be a part of the Games and we have enjoyed and are proud to have hosted the Modern Pentathlon athletes during their training.”
Headmaster of Brentwood School, Ian Davies, said: “It was an honour for the School and the town to host the Modern Pentathlon training site for the London 2012 Games.
“The school has a proud record of academic and sporting success.
“Our girls' athletics team currently holds the National Athletics Track and Field title.
“The use of our facilities by so many international elite athletes has provided inspiration to both the pupils and community.”